Do USB to VGA Adapters Work? – Know the Truth

Do USB to VGA Adapters Work?

This article talks about if USB to VGA Adapters work, their utility, and a step-by-step tutorial on how to choose, install and run a USB-to-VGA adapter on your device 

Have you ever experienced sheer embarrassment in front of your peers when your work presentation is a huge blowout because you didn’t present it on a magnified display as per the standard protocol and used a meager laptop instead? Well, this is where the application of a USB to VGA adapter kicks in.

A USB to VGA adapter is a digital-to-analog converter that connects your device equipped with a USB(Universal serial bus) port eg Laptop or a desktop to another device equipped with a VGA ( Video Graphics Array) port for eg Multimedia, projector, or simply another screen providing you a secondary display or a magnified version of your own screen

USB is the mainstay of electronic media used for the transfer of documents in digital form. Nearly every electronic device from desktops to laptops to a monitor is provided with a USB port. The evolution of USB Port resonates well with the technological leaps made in electronic media

A VGA is a device mainly limited to the production of video signals on a separate display and aims to amplify the visual output.

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Do USB to VGA Adapters Work?

Yes, USB to VGA adapters works perfectly to convert the digital data produced by your laptop to the analog data displayed by a VGA-enabled screen. A USB to VGA adapter produces a display with a resolution going beyond 1080P. The microchip inside this adapter takes your digital data and converts it into a video graphic array, to be displayed on a second screen

Do USB to VGA Adapters Work

Can you connect a VGA monitor to a USB port?

The answer is no. You cannot connect a VGA monitor to a USB port directly because each of them is structurally, mechanically, and electronically different from one other. A USB port is responsible for producing digital data only while a VGA port excels in the output of Videos/Pictures. In order to accomplish the purpose of connecting a VGA monitor to a USB Port, You’ll need a VGA-to-USB adapter for this. 

How to connect a VGA monitor to a USB port using an adapter

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How to connect a VGA monitor to a USB port using an adapter?

Following are the steps required to connect a VGA monitor to a USB port using an adapter.

Can you connect a VGA monitor to a USB port

Check Compatibility

The first step in setting up your USB to VGA adapter is checking whether your system is compatible with the adapter or not. A computer having a USB 3.0 port is mainly required to carry out this function but you can also make do with USB 2.0. A system containing Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7 is required for the adapter to run.

Obtain a USB to VGA Adapter

Choose an adapter that has been reviewed as the best by tech genies. In my opinion, Benfei USB C to VGA adapter ThunderBolt 3, Bincolo USB C to VGA adapter Thunderbolt 3, and INTO USB C to VGA are some of the few that tops my list.

Install Adapter drivers

Every USB to VGA adapter requires a driver to function, without which the output could not be obtained on a supplementary screen. There are two ways to install a driver onto your computer, either directly from the internet or through the given adapter. Installing a driver requires the following steps

  1. Open the manufacturer’s website as given on the leaflet or the instructions manual
  2. Type the name of your Cable model in the search box and hit enter
  3. A new display will appear, click on the option that says “Drivers” with a download icon right next to it
  4. If your browser is Google Chrome. Then click on the downloaded file at the bottom of your screen. If it is Microsoft Edge, then click run.
  5. A dialogue box will appear, asking for your permission to make changes to the computer. Click on yes.
  6. A setup wizard will open up. Follow the step-by-step procedure and keep clicking on next until you reach the Finish tab.
  7. Restart your computer to configure the setting of the newly set driver

      The second method to install the driver is as follows

  1. Connect the USB end of your adapter to the USB port in your computer
  2. Go to My PC/File, then click on the External E drive icon showing a picture of your adapter.
  3. A setup wizard will launch, follow the steps as mentioned in that setup guide and then click finish
  4. Restart your computer to update the newly made changes to your computer

Connect the Adapter

  Turn off your computer to prevent any [potential damage due to unforeseen short circuits and connect the USB end of your adapter to the USB port in your computer

Connect the VGA cable

Now, connect the VGA end of your adapter to the VGA cable, and connect the other end of your VGA cable to the VGA monitor. Fasten the connections made

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Configure display settings

How to access the settings

After connecting your adapter, the next step is to optimize the kind of display that you want to see and the type of resolution that you prefer. The following settings can be made on your computer to maximize the quality of output produced by the VGA device.

For Windows 10, Go to settings > Click on System > Click Display > Choose Advance display settings

For Windows 8 and 8.1. Go to PC settings > Select PC and Devices > Select Display

For Windows 7 Go to the control panel > click on the  Display icon > Click on Adjust resolution

How to get a duplicate display

After entering into the display settings > click on multiple displays > click on the tab saying extend these displays or duplicate these displays > Click on apply > Click on save changes to keep this setting as your default.

How to change the resolution of your screen

Choose the screen that you want the resolution to be adjusted > Click on the resolution drop-down menu > Click on your preferred resolution. It is to be noted that a USB 2.0 port only supports a resolution of up to 800×600. > Click Apply > Click on save changes.

For MacOS, choose the Apple menu, then click System settings, and finally hit the display icon. A screen will appear with the given options, click on the function that you desire to perform.

Test the connection

Ensure the robustness of all the connections and securely fasten them to USB Port and VGA device respectively.

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What do I do if the VGA to USB Adapter is not working?

Throw them in the dus… I mean there might come times when your VGA to USB adapter gives up on you and refuses to work. As infuriating as it gets, there are multiple ways to check why your VGA to USB Adapter is not working:

What do I do if the VGA to USB Adapter is not working

Check connections

The first step is to make sure that you’ve securely fastened all the connections. Ensure that the USB end of your adapter is properly mounted in the USB Port and VGA end is tightly connected to the VGA Monitor. Also, make sure that the adapter ends of both cables are securely connected to the adapter as well.

USB Port

A USB Port less than v2.0 doesn’t support VGA to USB adapter, make sure that your USB port is compatible with the driver. You can also try switching the USB port present on your computer

Restart the computer

There is a possibility that the driver installation might not have been properly configured. You can either directly restart your computer or turn it off and then turn it back on

Update Adapter drivers

You have to stay in sync with the newly updated drivers to run your VGA to USB Adapter. Running the device on an outdated driver can ultimately result in halting the function. Read the instructions manual provided by your manufacturer and go to the given website. Check for any available updates, if there are any then update your driver followed by restarting your computer and ensuring that the changes have been made to the computer

Check display settings

Make sure that you have made the required changes to your display after installing the driver by enabling duplicate display options and adjusting the image resolution


You need to confirm the compatibility of the VGA to USB adapter that you’re using with the USB port and the operating system in your computer. Also, check if your VGA monitor is compatible with the given model of the adapter.

Test with another monitor

If the VGA to USB adapter is not working, then you can check the authenticity of your driver by connecting it to another monitor. If it is working on another monitor, then the problem lies in the monitor rather than the adapter itself

Update operating system

A worn-out operating system can also create hurdles in maintaining the proper functioning of your adapter. Update your Windows or MacOS operating system, reinstall the drivers, and then connect the cables to your computer again

Try another adapter

If all the above mentioned solutions end up in failure and the adapter is still not working, then the best solution at hand would be to change your USB to a VGA adapter and try to purchase it from a different manufacturer this time. 

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Is USB to HDMI better than USB to VGA?

When it comes to a battle between HDMI and VGA, HDMI is always going to stand out as a winner in this game. Since VGA only produces a visual output and eliminates the audio output while HDMI produces both audio and visual output

Does a USB C to VGA adapter work?

The answer is Yes. The USB C to VGA adapters work better than all the other USB to VGA adapters combined. It transmits the digital data of your Type C USB Port to the magnified display of your projector or monitor and converts it into analog form. This USB C to VGA adapter is an excellent choice when you’re about to give business or other work-related presentations since most of them come with a built-in presentation mode that shunts the Sleep timer, Screen saver, or Stand By mode of your PC and keeps the display on for hours on the screen at an amazing resolution of 1920×1200

Can USB be used for display?

Display ports and HDMI are the ideally used interface for the production of video displays, but with the advent of USB type C ports, they have also hopped onto the Display transport bandwagon. Since USB is a predominantly digital signal-producing port, not all USB type C ports are compliant to serve as a display port. USB Type C has a comparatively greater number of pins and can enter into an Alternate Mode that is required for the progress of display transfer but this has to be kept in mind that not all USB C ports have Alternate Mode and consequently, some and not all USB C ports can be used for display transfer

Why doesn’t VGA work on my PC?

One of the reasons that VGA might not be working on your PC is that there might be a connectivity issue, try unplugging and then replugging your cable. A stable connection ensures that your video card is properly connected to the cable. Take a look at your VGA connector as well, chances may be that it might have gotten ragged or damaged.

What does VGA stand for?

VGA stands for Video Graphics Array and acts as an interface that harnesses the analog display on your screen from the digital USB domain. This mode of transmission has been mercilessly replaced by DVI, HDMI, and Display ports since VGA only offers to transmit video signals and masks out audio ones

Is the Display port better than HDMI?

Both of these ports maintain a standard of their own. To praise one port is going to be unfair to the other one. Both of them excel in transmitting the display signals, but the user is required to choose the preferred port depending upon the work requirement. Meanwhile, the display port provides a high refresh rate at better resolution and maintains the pixel quality of moving images, its utility is more in the high action fast paced competitive gaming. HDMI is more convenient for basic purposes like watching movies, Blu-ray, giving presentations, or content creation. Both HDMI and display ports are coming up with innovative upgrades with every passing year and each model is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous one.

Do you lose quality with HDMI to USB?

No, we don’t lose quality with HDMI to USB since HDMI can support a pixel resolution of up to 4k. But you need to make sure that your display, monitor, or projector is in accordance with specifications provided by the specific HDMI version otherwise you might end up watching a 4K movie at a 1080p resolution.

End Note

The fact has been established that USB to VGA Adapters work big time, they are an attempt to bring together the best of both worlds with respect to the electronics market all the while maintaining the pixel quality and image resolution of the display output. USB to VGA adapters have efficiently bridged the gap between digital and analog outputs without putting any compromise on the picture quality.

Despite the advantage of providing you with a hassle-free experience in terms of connecting two ports that code apart, this adapter can only produce video output since VGAs are not audio-compatible. This limitation has given this cable a major setback with it being replaced by HDMI and Display port, but owing to its simple function and easy accessibility.

USB to VGA adapters are still consumer favorites when it comes to linking the monitor to another screen for a magnified additional display.

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